Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch Krispy Bars

I get told every so often I should go on one of those cooking competition shows.

And every time, I allow myself to think about it juuuust briefly.

Sure, it’d be cool to sweep the competition and walk out of there with the title of Top Chef or the next Food Network star, along with a bunch of cash in my pocket (do they give you cash, or do they give you one of those giant cardboard checks? Note to self: research this).

But honestly, it’d be more of a pressured, panicked hassle than anything.

You’ve seen those shows. You have to cook something edible with fish flakes, stuffing mix and shampoo in like, 5 minutes.

And for celebrity judges.

I’m sorry, but I would definitely get starstruck if Guy Fieri walked in and had to judge my clean & fishy stuffing.

Because I’m sure he’d tell me it was awful and I would cry and in the confessional interviews threaten to kill myself from national humiliation and then I’d be booted and be known as that girl who left from my soapy stuffing.

And then, it’d be totally sucky to go on one of those shows and be THE FIRST one gone. I mean, really? Everyone makes fun of the first person gone and points and laughs and openly judges them and calls them a total loser.

I definitely don’t want to be that loser.

Admittedly, it’d be freakin’ sweet to travel and cook in exotic places, but being without my dog, boyfriend or family for a few months would be a travesty. After about Day 2 I would probably snap and set the house on fire.

The last thing I need is headlines to read: First One Booted Arrested For Arson.

Plus, I’m 99.9% sure that the judges would have a serious problem (and wrongfully so!) with my semi-homemade approach at cooking. As I try to tell everyone who insists I join the reigns of some reality TV cooking show, I cook using shortcuts that are family and budget friendly. I can’t afford to shop at farmer’s markets or cook organically. I don’t like making things completely from scratch because I’m a student with a job and a life who doesn’t have time to measure out my dry ingredients and be ritzy and stuff.

I BELIEVE IN BOXED CAKE MIX.

Because it’s cheap. And easy. And if you do it right, it doesn’t taste like it’s from a box.

And surely, these fancy-pants judges would certainly frown upon my secret ingredient being a box of Betty Crocker’s cake mix.

Even though they shouldn’t. Because they haven’t had a true cupcake ’til they’ve had a Betty Crocker creation by me.

I bet you Bobby Flay totally has a box of cake mix in his pantry and doesn’t want anyone to know.

Though I am positive the judges would like my twist on classic recipes. Like this one, which is a spin-off on the traditional rice krispy treat, but with a crunchy, yummy, peanut butter-y twist.

I’m sure that this recipe alone would win me the competition.

But that’s only if I get the huevos to sign up. Which I probably won’t, but that’s okay, anyway. Everyone should have a secret win-the-reality-TV-show recipe under their belt, right?!

And because I’m sooooo generous, I’ll share mine.

Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch Krispy Bars *inspired by Brandnewbuffy’s recipe 

3 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon creamy peanut butter
1 bag large marshmallows (I had those GIGANTIC ‘mallows on hand from camping, so I used about 15 and halved them to make 30)
6 cups peanut butter Cap’n Crunch cereal
2 cups regular M&M’s (you could also use pretzel–yummy–or peanut butter)

1. Lightly grease a 13×9 inch baking pan.
2. In a large saucepan, melt butter, peanut butter and marshmallows together over low heat until smooth and melted, about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Careful that the bottom of your pot doesn’t burn. Pour peanut butter mixture into an extra large bowl and quickly add cereal and M&M’s; stir very quickly to combine. The peanut butter mixture gets very sticky very fast.
3. Pour treat mixture into prepared pan. Using lightly greased hands, press mixture gently into pan to mold. Let cool completely, then cut into bars to serve.

A no-bake treat for a hot summer day? This couldn’t get any better.

These would also be amazing for a bake sale–just wrap with cellophane and tie with a cute, colorful ribbon. Instant moolah. After all, these would totally win you the $50K on a reality game show, so pullin’ a couple bucks at the school bake sale is totally obvious.

Enjoy!

xo, Hayley

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